Street Portraits: Lea & Dagmar

Street portraiture is equal measure thrilling and terrifying, but I finally worked up the nerve to ask a couple of strangers, and they said yes. Thanks to the tips and encouragement I received from so many people on my Freshly Pressed piece a few weeks ago, I feel that my first real attempt at street portraiture was a success.

Actually, I suppose my first real street portrait was with Kobi, but he asked me to take his portrait. Technicalities.

Meet Lea and Dagmar. Lea has just graduates university, and I’m going to assume that Dagmar has graduated as well… but unfortunately I kind of forgot what she told me about school, however I remember what school she attended 🙂 Either way, they were just out for a day on the town enjoying the one day of nice weather we’ve had recently.

Lea & Dagmar

I ran into them while walking along Queen St a few days ago, and noticed them taking pictures of each other against a colourful wall on a side street with their iPhones. I asked if they’d mind posing for some portraits for my blog and they agreed. I actually took some shots with their iPhone first, but since I don’t own an iPhone, I didn’t really know what I was doing and probably butchered those shots. Oh well, on to my images…


They were both super cool and easy going, and it’s pretty clear from the first image that they’re good friends.


I really like how these images turned out, and I think they are a testament to the amount of practice I’ve put into shooting in all kinds of outdoor lighting conditions, and feeling really confident with shooting in manual mode. Honestly, when you approach a stranger and ask to take their portrait, you’d better be able to lock in your setting in three frames or less, or you’re likely to lose them before you’ve started the session.

I had a lot of fun shooting them, and want to thank them for participating in the impromptu photo session. The whole shoot only took about ten minutes, and we were soon off in our separate directions. The experience was a great one, and it has definitely fuelled my desire to continue to challenge myself in this way.

I hope they like the post, and the images.



  1. great shot – glad you got up the nerve – you take some great photos – and these folks look like fun. and I recently did my first shot of strangers, and well I heard that people sometimes LOVE to be photographed – and sometimes their smiles say it all – like in your pic. 🙂 nice…..

    1. Thank you so much, and good for you for finding the confidence to shoot strangers as well. I asked them to act natural, and didn’t care whether they smiled or not. I always look for the natural smile or laugh, like the one I captured in Lea’s series, but I’d prefer that my subjects don’t smile if it’s not natural.

  2. These are great Shane! The girls both look so natural and relaxed, I’m glad you plucked up the courage to do this. I imagine you’re right about being able to get the frames you want quickly, even with people you know, they don’t want to be in front of the lens for very long. A job well done!

    1. Thanks Edith, it was a lot of fun. I was really nervous at first, but once you start clicking and focusing on the shots, the nerves seem to go away.

      Would love to do a few more before I head off to Ottawa next month.

  3. I love the 1st and 4th shot the most – but it’s hard to pick faves among them really! Very photogenic girls 🙂 it would be great if they came here to write some comments!

    1. Thanks so much, I can’t decide which I like the best… but I’m bias.

      I’d love for them to comment as well, but we’ll see. I showed the images to them on the back of the camera after the shoot and they really seemed to like some of them, so I hope they like the post.

  4. Genuine smiles are so great to see! So good to hear your first asking experience was so positive. Love the wall behind them! This was entertaining to see Shane, thanks for having the courage to make it happen.

  5. Great shots, beautiful girls and an awesome post. It’s true what you say, that you should know your camera and shoot quickly. Otherwise you’ll probably end up with blurry photos, wrong exposure and/or a tired and angry model that’s walking away.

    I stopped some people and took their portraits when I was in Jerusalem recently. I’ll post them later on when the situation is right and the timing is good 😀

  6. Great shots Shane & you’ve just given me an idea – when I’m out I get a LOT of people asking me to take their photo with their iphone or camera, maybe next time I should ask if they’d let me shoot them!

  7. Love the post Shane! We had a great time shooting with you and I’m so happy the photos turned out so nice! Keep up the awesome work and definitely don’t be shy to ask people on the street for photos in the future Dagmar and I really enjoyed it and I’m sure others would too!

    1. Lea, thank you so much for the wonderful comment. You’ve absolutely made my day. Like I said in the post, I had a blast meeting you guys and I’m so glad it worked out so well.

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